SOS! WaPo needs an emergency fact checker.
Former mild-mannered Bloomberg White House Correspondent Ed Chen, now Federal Communications Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, finally had it over the weekend after WaPo ran a story calling his organization the National Resources Defense Council. Twice. He says the media has gotten the name of the organization wrong one too many times. Yes, this was the straw that broke Chen’s back.
He explained to FishbowlDC: “Over the years, almost every big and small publication has mis-named us; so, way too many to tally here. Suffice it to say that such shoddy work happens so frequently that some of our media folks have this permanent tagline attached to their email signatures: “The word “National” does not appear in Natural Resources Defense Council.”
Chen sent this missive WaPo‘s Executive Editor Steamed Marcus Brauchli, Business Editor Kelly Johnson and Ombudsman Patrick Pexton:
Dear Senior WP Editors,
Your fine article today in the Sunday business section on light bulbs (by freelancer Paul Glader) gets our name wrong — sadly an all too common occurrence. We are the NATURAL (not “National,” as in your story, twice) Resources Defense Council.
Chen got in one last dig, telling FBDC: “If the NATURAL Resources Defense Council had a nickel for every such mistake, we’d be able to match — ad for TV ad — those put up by the dirty, fossil fuel industry designed to mislead the public.”
UPDATE: Chen heard back from Pexton. Well, not from Pexton himself — he’s busy working on other crap WaPo is doing. He heard back from his editorial aide. “Hi Mr. Chen, Thanks for taking the time to write. I’ve forwarded your e-mail along to our corrections desk. They can also be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. All the best, Alison Coglianese, Editorial Aide to the Ombudsman, The Washington Post.” As of 2 p.m. today the Natural Resources Defense Council was still written as “National Resources Defense Council” in the publication’s online story. Chen wrote WaPo on Sunday at 9:22 a.m. These things take time. They must go through the proper channels (and the car wash) before they can be fixed.